Quiznos to Significantly Grow Presence in Canada with New Locations [Interview]

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Quick-service sandwich chain Quiznos continues to expand its presence in the country with plans to significantly grow in the marketplace.

The brand, which is based in Denver, has about 450 restaurants worldwide and just over 100 in Canada. The first store opened in Canada in May 1997 in Vancouver. The brand launched in 1981 in Denver, Colorado, where it has its home office.

Tim Casey

Tim Casey, President and CEO of REGO Restaurant Group, which owns Quiznos, said the pandemic slowed down growth for the company as it did for most brands in the industry. 

“What we are most excited about is our new restaurant which incorporates both a contemporized design, new menu, really a new look for Quiznos. We opened up in Vancouver (on SE Marine Dr). We’re very excited about that location. That location and that franchisee is really setting a very solid foundation in the Canadian market for what we believe future growth will be.

Image: Quiznos

“We’ve got several franchisees that have signed development agreements in Canada and we have several more pending. It’s a market that franchisees are very interested in. This new restaurant in Vancouver is doing extraordinarily well and it’s certainly created a tremendous amount of interest and enthusiasm with franchisees. That restaurant opened up mid summer of this year and it just continues to grow stronger and stronger each month.

“I think what consumers are most excited about is they’re really excited to see the new look of the brand, the team did an incredible job of some rigorous consumer research. They brought that to life in a very relevant and contemporized brand and what comes with that is not only the fan favourite menu items but entirely new menu items to drive the brand well into the future.”

Casey said since 1981 Quiznos has been and continues to be a fan favourite with tremendous consumer affinity across North America which continues to grow.

The Quiznos Qube (Image: Rego Restaurant Group)

“In several markets in Canada, they’ve just been waiting for us to come back to their marketplace,” he said.

“I think we have tremendous upside opportunity there. The enthusiasm that we see, the number of franchise agreements that we’ve signed, as I look back over our past it was a very large marketplace for Quiznos and I think our opportunities are very, very significant. We have both urban and rural appeal. The awareness in Canada is just as strong as it is in the US. So from that perspective we are well known, we are well thought of, the consumer affinity is very, very high. So based on what we are seeing and based on our history we think Canada can be a very large market.

“In our locations, we are looking for what most brands look for. We’re looking for good traffic patterns, we’re looking for good visibility, we’re looking for good ingress and egress so consumers have easy access to the brand. We’re looking to be in those areas that consumers have already identified as lunch and dinner hubs.”

The Quiznos Qube (Image: Rego Restaurant Group)

Casey said the company continues to look for and attract individuals as franchisees who are strong entrepreneurs with solid business acumen.

“I think when you combine great real estate and great site selection with the franchisees that we are attracting it means nothing but great things for the brand going forward,” he said.

“Quiznos has always been known for innovation. When this brand started, we were the most innovative in this space. We were the first ones to offer a toasted sub sandwich . . . I think consumers have noticed that DNA, that gene, of innovation is back in a big way . . .  We have gotten back to the roots of our history and our legacy and innovation is at the core of everything we do.

“We’re not just innovating in our menu but also in our restaurant design.

“I believe we are one of, if not the only brand, that offers franchisees flexibility as to how they build out their restaurants. We offer the traditional bricks and mortar which you might find in a shopping centre. But we also have a proprietary exclusive relationship with a company called BCubed Manufacturing and they’re helping us offer to our franchisees a very innovative approach to providing them with a freestanding drive-thru restaurant in their marketplace. BCubed is expanding their manufacturing capabilities to include Canada by mid to third quarter of 2023. We’re excited about that. We’re excited about it because once again it’s got the spirit of innovation that we’re all about and number two we’re all about the franchisee and being able to provide them with two options that they can choose from to maximize the return on investment. We think that’s what all franchisors should be doing. And we’re very proud of the fact that we’re one of the first to offer such flexibility to optimize the ROI of our franchisees.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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